Ice Network

Shibutanis to sit out 2018-19 competitive season

Olympic bronze medalists taking time to focus on outside projects
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Olympic bronze medalists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani are stepping away from competitive skating next season. -Getty Images

Olympic bronze medalists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani announced Thursday that they will not compete during the 2018-19 figure skating season. The sibling ice dancers have not ruled out returning to competition in the future.

While the Shibutanis do plan on skating in shows in the coming year, including on the current Stars on Ice tour, they are shifting their focus toward off-ice endeavors.

"While we are still young, and love competing and performing, we have exciting projects that we have the opportunity to work on both together and individually," Maia Shibutani said.

The Shibutanis train in Canton, Michigan, with coaches Marina Zoueva, Massimo Scali, Johnny Johns and Oleg Epstein. Together, they have won two Olympic medals (bronze in both the individual ice dance event and the team event in 2018), three world medals (silver in 2016, bronze in 2011 and 2017) and two U.S. titles (2016, '17).

The Hollywood Reporter reported Tuesday that the Shibutanis had signed with UTA (United Talent Agency).